Gareth Morgan writes a post that’s, frankly, beneath him.
He rants against those he calls “climate deniers”. Though he’s shown in the past he makes efforts to be informed, in this article he recklessly misrepresents the sceptical position. Well, that’s a charitable interpretation; it’s more likely that he is trying to marginalise the sceptics. It’s pathetically easy to show he’s wrong (give me a minute on that).
Mr Morgan stoops to uttering an untruth about the temperature; we know it has not been going up, yet he insists:
- “global temperatures are rising at a rate faster than any past ‘natural’ changes”
- “this rapid upswing in global temperatures”
- “why the planet is warming so quickly”
The short-lived late-20th century warming halted 15-20 years ago. He must have heard about the pause and knows that these statements are false. For heaven’s sake: the IPCC tried unconvincingly to explain the pause in the Fifth Assessment Report. The Hockey Schtick lists 63 excuses given around the world to explain away the pause. A paper last year by Dr Ross McKitrick claims the pause had lasted 19 years at the surface and up to 26 years in the lower troposphere.
Everyone agrees there is a pause. You cannot remain pig-headedly defiant of the evidence.
But don’t take my word for it. Here, in a single handy graph, are five major global temperature records (UAH, RSS, GISS, NCDC and HadCRUT4) from Climate4you:
The five major temperature records to April 2015. Since about 1995 the temperature, though varying, has shown little or no warming trend. The temperature trend shows no sign of “rising at a rate faster than any natural changes” or a “rapid upswing”—in other words, it hasn’t been warming. These are not my graphs, they are produced by international teams of scientists; Mr Morgan should retract his foolish statements. Click to enlarge.
Mr Morgan promises:
In this first blog we will strip back the rhetoric and take a dispassionate look at the facts of climate change.
Then he spends over 40% of his article just moaning about the sceptics, or “deniers” as he prefers. He gives no evidence to support the allegation of global warming, much less does he help us believe that it’s caused by something we’re doing.
His lamenting over sceptical disagreement is weak and forgettable, but it’s worth making a couple of points. He says this:
Firstly to the small, vocal but shrill community of deniers. There are two common objections to the weight of evidence. The first is that either there’s not enough evidence yet. The second is that it’s fair game for any lightweight to blithely dismiss climate models because after all, they’re “just a model, not reality”. That’s it, that’s as deep as the deniers (what’s left of them) can manage to put up these days. Pathetic.
A Horizon poll last year suggested to its respondents: “I am uncertain that climate change is really happening.” (Bear in mind that the expression “climate change” is these days taken to mean that a human influence is causing it.) The results show a majority of New Zealanders are not sure we’re causing climate change. Like this:
First, 47.8% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree—they’re certain they cause climate change.
Then, 27.6% strongly agree that they’re uncertain, and almost as many, 23.8%, can’t decide whether they’re uncertain or not. I think it’s clear that being unable to decide is the definition of uncertainty. That makes a total of 51.4% of us who are not convinced we’re causing climate change.
What were you saying, Gareth, about “a small group of deniers clinging to an evaporating argument”? There’s no argument involved here; there are many questions that you, who are so convinced we’re destroying the planet, simply refuse to answer. Here are five of the most urgent questions:
- The temperature is not going up; when do you predict that it will?
- The oceans are sometimes observed to be warming; as there is no mechanism for the air to significantly heat the ocean, do you agree that our emissions cannot be causing it?
- Vigorous debate is occurring among climate scientists on climate sensitivity (CS), or the amount of warming to be expected from a given level of airborne CO2; the IPCC strongly believes in high CS, while recent papers on the continuing lack of global warming report low CS; do you agree we should delay expensive policy responses until this vital factor is better understood?
- The warming response of airborne CO2 is logarithmic, meaning the more that is added, the less warming is caused by each new addition; do you agree this strongly diminishes the warming to be expected from our emissions in the future?
- The only predictions of dangerous temperatures come from climate models which reflect our deeply imperfect knowledge of the climate and consistently fail to match the past; do you agree we can safely ignore them until their performance has been shown to be skilful?
This graph illustrates the diminishing effect of further parcels of carbon dioxide emissions. The WUWT post by David Archibald provides a good discussion of the principle:
If the “weight of evidence” for climate disaster really does “stack up with each passing year” why does Mr Morgan resort to such bitter deprecation of sceptics?
When you’re trying to change a person’s mind, evidence works well. There’s nothing to say in the face of evidence, unless you can refute it, for which you need evidence. The only reason to abuse and revile the one who disagrees with you is that you have no evidence. But if you have no evidence, reviling him is still the worst tactic, since it immediately proves you have no evidence.
Wake up, Gareth. Your million dollar inquiry into global warming has purchased a membership in the losing side.